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France knock holders US out of Basketball World Cup

The Americans were last eliminated from the medal rounds in the 2002 tournament on home soil in Indianapolis

France caused the biggest upset of the basketball World Cup in China after beating holders the United States 89-79 to reach the semi-finals of the 32-nation tournament on Wednesday.

France will meet Argentina on Friday for a berth in Sunday’s final while 2006 champions Spain take on the winners of the Australia v Czech Republic quarter-final, who were playing later on Wednesday.

France carved out a 51-41 lead early in the third quarter but the Americans, who were last eliminated from the medal rounds in the 2002 tournament on home soil in Indianapolis, appeared to have turned the tide when they surged ahead 72-65.

The French forced the final twist in the closing stages thanks to effervescent performances by Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert, who finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds, and Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier who netted 22 points.

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